All stories by Clare Brennan on BroadwayStars

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Coriolanus review – a vivid, fast-flowing production by Clare Brennan

Crucible, SheffieldDirector Robert Hastie makes the most of the now-nostalgic shared space between audience and cast Writing a review, today, feels strange. Coriolanus was the last performan…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:42AM
Sunday, March 15, 2020

Mrs Puntila and Her Man Matti review – socialist satire starved of humour by Clare Brennan

Royal Lyceum, EdinburghThe comic talents of Elaine C Smith and Steven McNicoll can’t save Denise Mina’s stilted, gender-switching adaptation of a Bertolt Brecht comedyBertolt Brecht and …

Linked From The Guardian at 04:24AM
Sunday, March 8, 2020

Blue Stockings review – terrific energy as the fight goes on by Clare Brennan

Storyhouse, ChesterFour female undergraduates in 1890s Cambridge struggle for equality in this buoyant production of Jessica Swale’s 2013 classroom classicA renowned expert has come to the…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:06AM
Sunday, February 23, 2020

Quality Street review – a box of mixed delights by Clare Brennan

Viaduct theatre, HalifaxThis adaptation of JM Barrie’s 1901 romcom doesn’t always hit the mark, but it roars to the sweetest conclusionTo some readers, the name Quality Street may conjur…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:54AM
Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff review – an extraordinary portrait of a working-class hero by Clare Brennan

Northern Stage, Newcastle upon TyneSet against the upheaval of world events, music from folk trio the Young’uns and animation combine to tell the story of the young anti-fascist activist …

Linked From The Guardian at 02:04AM
Sunday, February 2, 2020

Dr Korczak’s Example review – lessons from the Warsaw ghetto by Clare Brennan

Leeds PlayhouseDavid Greig’s 2001 drama about the doctor who founded an orphanage in the Warsaw ghetto continues to educate in this atmospheric production The first thing we see as we ente…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:24AM
Sunday, January 26, 2020

The Gift review – a deft portrayal of prejudice by Clare Brennan

Belgrade theatre, CoventryFine performances carry this tale of a young African girl’s arrival in Queen Victoria’s court interlaced with a modern family’s move from London to Cheshire J…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:18PM
Saturday, January 18, 2020

The week in theatre: Cuttin’ It; The Girl With Glitter in Her Eye; Rooman – review by Clare Brennan

The Studio, Royal Exchange, Manchester; the Bunker; Barbican, LondonTwo young Somali women find themselves on opposite sides of the FGM argument in a fine revival of Charlene James’s 2016 …

Linked From The Guardian at 06:12AM
Sunday, December 29, 2019

The week in theatre: Guys and Dolls; Snowflake; The Wizard of Oz – review by Clare Brennan

Crucible, Sheffield; Kiln, London; Leeds PlayhouseRobert Hastie’s new Guys and Dolls is an instant classic, Mike Bartlett’s arguments are a slow burn, and for a thrilling trip to Oz, the…

Linked From The Guardian at 12:54AM
Monday, December 23, 2019

Miracle on 34th Street review – flawed fairytale of New York by Clare Brennan

Playhouse theatre, LiverpoolA cracking score and an energetic cast can’t disguise an unconvincing romance in Gemma Bodinetz’s update of the seasonal classic Kris Kringle believes he is S…

Linked From The Guardian at 08:24AM
Sunday, December 15, 2019

Strange Tales review – hi-tech theatre meets ancient Chinese storytelling by Clare Brennan

Traverse theatre, EdinburghPu Songling’s weird stories are brought to life with a hit-and-miss mixture of cutting-edge video and live performance A demon with a paintbrush retouches the fe…

Linked From The Guardian at 06:54AM
Sunday, December 8, 2019

Drac & Jill review – a supercharged helping of festive filth by Clare Brennan

Wardrobe theatre, BristolThe cast sinks its teeth into this extremely adult seasonal mashup of Dracula, Jack and Jill and The Sound of Music A generalised power cut delayed curtain up(metaph…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:54AM
Sunday, December 1, 2019

Wild Goose Dreams review – an internet liaison complete with visions by Clare Brennan

Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal BathHansol Jung’s tale of two lonely Koreans who meet online is witty but overstuffed with ideasWe are in Seoul. Guk Minsung is a “goose father”, one of t…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:12AM
Sunday, November 24, 2019

Hello and Goodbye review – Athol Fugard’s powerful sibling drama by Clare Brennan

York Theatre RoyalJo Mousley and Emilio Iannucci excel in this engrossing production of Fugard’s tale of a brother and sister’s ambiguous reunion “I am a regional writer,” claimed So…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:18AM
Sunday, November 17, 2019

My Mother Said I Never Should review – signs of the times by Clare Brennan

Crucible, SheffieldSilence is both golden and frustrating in Charlotte Keatley’s play about four generations of women featuring deaf actors Fingersmiths theatre company specialises in “w…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:18AM
Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Season review – chutzpah and charm in New York romcom by Clare Brennan

New Wolsey theatre, IpswichNewcomers Jim Barne and Kit Buchan have written a classic Christmas romance enhanced by confident production “Even impossible dreams come true,” sings the wond…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:03AM
Sunday, November 3, 2019

A Museum in Baghdad review – the tale of two women trying to preserve Iraq's treasures by Clare Brennan

Swan theatre, Stratford-upon-AvonHannah Khalil’s ambitious play, set in 1926 and 2006, struggles to dramatise questions of power and gender A museum is a site of encounter between past and…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:36AM
Sunday, October 27, 2019

Fibres review – searing account of a deadly occupational hazard by Clare Brennan

Paisley Arts CentreWinning performances deliver a heartbreaking and unsentimental tale about asbestos poisoning in the workplaceFrances Poet’s latest play is a condemnation of an atrocious…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:48AM
Saturday, October 19, 2019

I Have Met the Enemy (And the Enemy Is Us) review – not quite on target by Clare Brennan

Byker Community Centre, Newcastle upon TyneThe audience is invited to attend a mock UK arms fair in this laudable but underdeveloped production Travelling to Common Wealth and Northern Stage…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:48PM
Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Monstrous Heart review – grizzly mother-daughter reunion by Clare Brennan

Stephen Joseph theatre, ScarboroughOliver Emanuel’s Canadian log cabin drama goes nowhere slowly ’Tis a dark and snow-stormy night somewhere in Canada. After many years of separation, a …

Linked From The Guardian at 01:06AM
Sunday, October 6, 2019

The Last King of Scotland – morally flawed stage adaptation by Clare Brennan

Crucible, SheffieldBy rendering its hero completely passive, Steve Waters loses a key aspect of Giles Foden’s novelGiles Foden describes the narrator-hero of his 1998 multiple prize-winnin…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:33AM
Sunday, September 29, 2019

On Bear Ridge review – potent study of the places we leave behind by Clare Brennan

Sherman theatre, CardiffWriting, acting and design combine brilliantly in Ed Thomas’s new, semi-autobiographical playJohn Daniel (Rhys Ifans) fears that daily wearing of his only pair of t…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:54AM
Sunday, September 22, 2019

Reasons to Stay Alive review – hope beats the black dog by Clare Brennan

Crucible, SheffieldMatt Haig converses with his younger self in this engaging take on his memoir about depression The novelist Matt Haig wrote his award-wining, bestselling 2015 memoir about…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:42AM
Sunday, September 8, 2019

Two Trains Running review – a menacing tale of black oppression by Clare Brennan

Royal and Derngate, NorthamptonThis fine revival of August Wilson’s 1992 play finds seven people in 60s Pittsburgh struggling with a turbulent world Double Pulitzer prize-winning writer Au…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:42AM
Sunday, September 1, 2019

Season’s Greetings review – laugh-aloud ridiculousness by Clare Brennan

Stephen Joseph theatre, ScarboroughAlan Ayckbourn directs this excellent revival of his 1980 comedy of a family suffering a less than festive Christmas Playwright Alan Ayckbourn remembers a …

Linked From The Guardian at 09:36AM
Sunday, August 25, 2019

Lughnasa FrielFest review – art over troubled borders by Clare Brennan

Various venues, Derry and DonegalThe annual celebration of the work of Brian Friel carries powerful reminders of the work of building community “Politics are so obtrusive here.” The grea…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:36AM
Sunday, August 18, 2019

All Hands on Deck review – engaging narrowboat drama by Clare Brennan

Wharfhouse, Cropredy, OxfordshireMikron’s second world war show follows two female navy recruits as they battle the enemy and colleagues “Theatre anywhere for everyone, by canal, river a…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:33AM
Sunday, August 11, 2019

The week in theatre: The Secret River; La Reprise; 8 Hotels – review by Clare Brennan

King’s theatre; Lyceum, Edinburgh; Minerva, ChichesterEnglish settlers terrorise Indigenous Australians in an unflinching production from Sydney; the aftermath of a homophobic killing is e…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:42AM
Saturday, August 3, 2019

The week in theatre: Uncle Vanya; There Is a Light That Never Goes Out; Malory Towers – review by Clare Brennan

Theatre Royal Bath; Royal Exchange, Manchester; Passenger Shed, BristolRupert Everett’s astute direction of Chekhov results in a meeting of minds, and a luddite history is given a modern e…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:33AM
Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Children review – a toxic past refuses to remain buried by Clare Brennan

Theatre by the Lake, KeswickLucy Kirkwood’s domestic-seeming drama has the steely underpinning of a Greek tragedy A visitor arrives at a cottage by the sea – unexpected but not unknown. …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:48AM
Sunday, July 14, 2019

Life of Pi review – Martel’s tall tale brought to astonishing life by Clare Brennan

Crucible, SheffieldLolita Chakrabarti’s superbly acted adaptation of Yann Martel’s Booker-winner makes dazzling use of its interplay of illusions Everything about this production is amaz…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:06AM

All that Chat

2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue